A love thats never failing
Let mercy fall on me
Everyone needs forgiveness
The kindness of a savior
And hope of nations
So take me as you find me
With all my fears abandoned
And fill my life again
I give my life to follow
And everything I believe in
And I surrender
Savior, he can move the mountains
My god is Mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Forever, author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave
Shine your light and
Let the whole world see, were singin'
For the glory
Of the risen king, Jesus (x2)
10 Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11 “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the Lord all that night. 12 Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, “Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal.”
13 When Samuel reached him, Saul said, “The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.” 14 But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?” 15 Saul answered, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.” 16 “Enough!” Samuel said to Saul. “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.” “Tell me,” Saul replied.
17 Samuel said, “Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. 18 And he sent you on a mission, saying, ‘Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; wage war against them until you have wiped them out.’ 19 Why did you not obey the Lord? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?”
20 “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. 21 The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”
22 But Samuel replied:
“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has rejected you as king.”
24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them. 25 Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord.” 26 But Samuel said to him, “I will not go back with you. You have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you as king over Israel!”
To better understand why God rejected Saul as king and how the gospel offers hope for anyone who has disobeyed God in ways similar to Saul.
During the season of Lent we used the Psalms to guide us toward a deeper understanding of prayer and to help us build rhythms and habits for daily prayer in our lives. In Eastertide, the Easter Season, for our final sermon series of this ministry year we now turn to the books of 1 and 2 Samuel to focus on the life of David. As the author of many of the psalms we studied, David is portrayed as the “Man of Prayer.” This series will look at some of the key events in David’s life as recounted in the books of Samuel. These stories remind us that one’s prayer life is not an abstract activity divorced from daily life, but flows out of one’s joys and sorrows, triumphs and defeats, and is always reaching out to God.
Today’s text is about the rejection of Saul, the man who was Israel’s first king. It is difficult to rightly understand David’s life (and prayers) without insight into his relationship with Saul. Saul represents the corrupted king who is not identified as one after God’s own heart (cf. 1 Samuel 13:14). Instead of obeying God, Saul takes matters into his own hands and, in his presumption, loses the throne. Saul used the kingship to “set up a monument to his own honor” (1 Samuel 15:12). Saul used the kingship not as a way to serve God and the people, but as a way to accrue power, glory, and wealth for himself.
The force of the narrative for readers today leads each of us to ask, “In what ways is there a little King Saul in my heart?” The rejection of Saul leads to the anointing of David as Israel’s next king, and as we shall see in later studies, points us forward to David’s greater Son, Jesus.
Goal for this section: To understand the nature of Saul’s disobedience.
1. In reading 1 Samuel 15:10-26, why has God rejected Saul as king over Israel?
2. In what other ways does Saul’s disobedience present itself in the text? How does this shed light on your past experiences of disobedience, to God or to other authorities?
Goal for this section: To understand the kind of obedience that God is seeking.
3. As you see in v. 15 and vv. 20-21, Saul attempts to justify what happened partly by “blame-shifting.” What shape might “blame-shifting” take in our lives?
4. According to 1 Samuel 15:22-26, what is God seeking from those who claim to follow him? What brings him delight?
Goal for this section: To understand the hope and healing the gospel offers us even if we disobey like Saul.
5. Saul is rejected as the king because of his disobedience and lack of repentance. Though the Bible teaches that everyone disobeys, repentance gives us hope through Jesus, the perfect king. If you are a Christian, how has repentance brought hope in your life? How could your community help each other in this area?